Common name: Prickly Sculpin
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Moyle (1976, 2002); Morrow (1980); Page and Burr (1991).
Size: 30 cm (Page and Burr 1991).
Native Range: Pacific Slope drainages from Seward, Alaska, to Ventura River, California; east of Continental Divide in upper Peace River, British Columbia (Page and Burr 1991).
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe
This species is known from the Santa Clara and Santa Ana river systems, Irvine and Big Bear lakes, and several reservoirs in southern California (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1977; Bell 1978; Swift et al. 1993). Moyle (2002) says they are common in reservoirs and have spread to Southern California via the California Aqueduct.
Prickly Sculpin has apparently been introduced to some mid-elevation lakes in the Nisqually drainage in Washington, and also into two lakes in the lower Chehalis drainage (R. Tabor, USFWS, Washington). It is native to the lower part of the Nisqually River basin. However, there is a barrier created by cascades at river mile 41 to 42 that prevents movement higher up in the watershed. In a study of Olympic Peninsula streams and rivers (Mongillo and Hallock 1997) this species was not found above 23 m elevation.
Means of Introduction: Apparently introduced in imported water, possibly with water released into Piru Creek, a tributary of the Santa Clara River, from Pyramid Reservoir during the 1970s (Bell 1978; Swift et al. 1993; Moyle 2002). Pyramid Reservoir recevies water through the California Aqueduct from the Sacaramento and San Joaquin River basins, which are part of the inland range of this species (Bell 1978; Moyle 2002).
Status: Established in California and Washington.
Impact of Introduction: Unknown. The occurrence of this cottid in the Santa Clara River system has been viewed as a possible threat to the survival of the federally endangered unarmoured threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1977).
References: (click for full references)
Bell, M.A. 1978. Fishes of the Santa Clara system, southern California. Contributions in Science, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 295:1-20.
Mongillo, P. E., and M. Hallock. 1997. Distribution and habitat of native nongame steam fishes of the Olympic Peninsula. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Technical Report# FRD (1997): 97-05.
Morrow, J.E. 1980. The freshwater fishes of Alaska. Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, Anchorage, AK.
Moyle, P.B. 1976. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Moyle, P.B. 2002. Inland fishes of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
Swift, C.C., T.R. Haglund, M. Ruiz, and R.N. Fisher. 1993. The status and distribution of the freshwater fishes of southern California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Science 92(3):101-167.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1977. Recovery plan for unarmored threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni, an endangered fish. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 60 pp.
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson
Revision Date: 7/18/2016
Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Cottus asper Richardson, 1836: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=501, Revision Date: 7/18/2016, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/22/2018
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.